Captain America and Black Characters
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Calling all Writers: We want More, More, More Black Characters!
After watching Captain America, my daughter and I have some suggestions for writers putting black characters in their stories….
1. If you have a splendid, black female head-of-security with awesome fighting skills (such as the one played by the magnificent Florence Kasumba), give her more than one line. We acknowledge that it was an awesome line, “Move or you will be moved,” but she deserved a bigger role in Captain America — at least a fight scene. C’mon! (We are expecting this to be rectified in the Black Panther movie for which we are not so patiently waiting.)
2. When you bomb a country and kill lots of people in it, could you make it somewhere other than Africa? Geez, hasn’t there been enough violence portrayed there. We know Captain American is a super hero movie and everything, so we expect some bombs, but c’mon! Not Africa, again!
3. While we appreciate that it was the previous writers of Black Panther comics who made up the country of Wakanda in Africa, we’d just like you to remember that Africa has plenty of real countries with rich cultures and histories that would be fantastic for authentic representation.
4. If you have one of the black characters falling from the sky, MAKE his friends fly faster and catch him. AND in the future, don’t have one of the few black characters be the only one severely (and perhaps permanently) injured. You could severely injure more characters. Certainly don’t severely injure ONLY characters of color. We are tired of this. It’s old and racist. Be more creative than that for heavens sake! We were glad Rhodney wasn’t killed off in Captain America like so many characters of color. But he was paralyzed! C’mon! We are sick of holding our breath everytime a charactor of color is in a story as we wait for him/her to get killed, maimed, or demoralized in some manner.
(P.S. Yes, we noticed Bucky was severely injured in Captain America, but our relationship to him isn’t the same–and proportionally there are so many other white characters!)
5. We really appreciated the fact that it was the Black Panther that ended the cycle of revenge in Captain American. Give us more of that. The world needs more complex, black characters of all kinds!
Thanks for reading our suggestions. Please know, writers of the world, we have every faith in your creative abilities and your capacity to give us more interesting, multi-dimensional black characters that aren’t killed off right away or permanently maimed or restricted to small small roles. Thanks! Love, Victoria and Mari Peterson-Hilleque